Youth in Politics 'Not Too Young To Run' campaign launched globally

Fifty-one percent of the world's people are under 30 years but the average age of a world leader is 62. Is it time to rethink age restrictions for elected public offices?

  • Published:
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The United Nations Youth envoy, Ahmad Alhendawi, has joined fellow youth leaders to launch globally the campaign to get young people elected into public office. The global launch happened on Tuesday November 22 in Geneva at the Palais des Nations and was attended by representatives of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and European Youth Forum.

According to the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth (OSGEY) “the Not Too Young To Run campaign will be run as an open source global campaign, designed to draw attention to the widespread age discrimination in running for public office. It will provide a platform with resources and content which may be utilized for nationally specific efforts.”

Related: Youth in Politics: We are not too young to run

According to the campaign, 73 percent of countries worldwide have age-barriers to those who can run for elected office although they can vote for those same offices. Fifty-one percent of the world’s population is under 30 but only two percent of parliamentarians worldwide are under 30.

Ecuador, Finland, Norway and Sweden are the only countries that have more than 10 percent of their MPs under 30.

"If you're not too young to get married, to serve in the army, to vote, then you're not too young to run”, says Zeina Hilal of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Related: 22-year-old aspiring MP “too young and inexperienced» – Lecturer

The campaign, started in Nigeria by Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement, is calling for the removal of age barriers steeped in the constitution. The campaigners want the age limit of the president reduced to 30 and the House of Representatives, down to 25 years.

In Ghana, while the age limit to become a Member of Parliament is 21, the presidency is etched at 40.

 

Those who decide to run for office face numerous challenges. When 22 year old Francisca Oteng-Mensah was elected the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for Kwabre East Constituency, she was described by the head of Department of Political Science at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr Richard Amoako Baah as “too young” and inexperienced for the task.

 

 

Despite the numerous advantages to having younger leaders, including policies which reflect contemporary thinking and aspiration, there are significant barriers even if age limits are lowered.

Political party structures pivot on old friendships, election nomination forms are dear and society’s idea of the ‘wise age’ are going to need some significant challenging before concrete change will happen.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Bribery Scandal NDC divided over whether Muntaka should resign as Chief Whipbullet
2 Flagstaff House Bawumia calls for deeper Ghana-US relationsbullet
3 Reunion 'Go and beg' Nana Konadu - E.T Mensah urges NDCbullet
4 Nana or Mahama? Ghanaians divided over who to blame for comeback...bullet
5 NPP Government Work begins on first district factory at Kpetoebullet
6 1966 Coup Chieftaincy poses a threat to Ghana's unitary system...bullet
7 New Government Nana Addo can't solve Ghana's problem in his...bullet
8 COCOBOD Matters NDC MP questions EOCO’s decision to freeze...bullet
9 NPP Government Has Akufo-Addo’s deputy ministerial...bullet
10 New Appointment Nana Addo names Ministersbullet

Top Videos

1 Video What Ghanaians are saying about Agyarko's bribery allegation casebullet
2 Election 2016 IGP is an 'asshole' - Ken Agyapongbullet
3 Pulse Xmas video Ringier Ghana Limited end of year party 2016bullet
4 Election 2016 KMA Assembly Members trade blowsbullet
5 Pulse Elections Nana Addo will win by 53% - Gonga chief predictsbullet
6 Election 2016 T.B Joshua in Ghana to subvert election 2016 -...bullet
7 Election 2016 Obinim threatens to rig elections for Mahama,...bullet
8 Election 2016 Obinim predicts victory for Nana Addobullet
9 Watch Gbese Mantse vows to abdicate if Nana Addo winsbullet
10 New Government Swearing in of Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr...bullet

Politics